Facts on the New Philippine K-12 Education System

January 14th, 2016

Until recently, the Philippines primary and secondary education entailed 10 years of schooling, of which the first 6 years covered elementary/primary school and the last four year covered high school.  The Philippine Department of Education, Sport and Culture has announced ending the Grade 10 (6+4 primary and secondary) system and implementing new reforms concerning the country’s primary and secondary education which are as follow:

Using the Philippine Government’s website as a primary resource, below are highlights of the new reforms:

The new K to 12 Program covers 13 years of basic education with the following key stages:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 10 (Junior High School) [compulsory]
  • Grades 11 and 12 (Senior High School)

(Kindergarten + 6 years cover basic / primary education, followed by 4 years of junior high school, and 2 years of senior high school)


Source: http://www.gov.ph/k-12/

Implementation of the new K to 12 has been accomplished in the following stages:

  • SY 2011-2012: Universal Kindergarten implementation begins
  • SY 2012-2013: Enhanced curriculum for Grades 1-7 implemented
  • 2013: K to 12 enacted into Law
  • 2014: Curriculum for Grades 11-12 finished

a) Transition to the New System in Public Schools

Source: http://www.gov.ph/k-12/

Note: Program implementation in public schools started in SY 2012–2013 and will be carried out in phases. Grade 1 entrants in SY 2012–2013 are the first batch to fully undergo the program, and current 1st year Junior High School students (or Grade 7) are the first to undergo the enhanced secondary education program. To facilitate the transition from the existing 10-year basic education to 12 years, the Philippine Department of Education is also implementing the Senior High School (SHS) and SHS Modeling.

b) Transition to the New System for Private Schools

Source: http://www.gov.ph/k-12/

Note: Private schools design their transition plans based on: (1) current/previous entry ages for Grade 1 and final year of Kinder, (2) duration of program , and most importantly, (3) content of curriculum offered.

Below is an overview of the curriculum and subjects for each stage in the New System:

philippine_4 Kindergarten

The Kindergarten Curriculum Framework (KCF) adopts the general principles of the       National Early Learning Framework (NELF) with the intent to ensure Kindergarten        learners have a smooth transition to the content-based curriculum of Grades 1 to 12.

philippine_5Elementary/Primary & Junior High School (Grades 1-10)

The curriculum for Grades 1 to 10 includes the following subjects:
• Mother Tongue
• Filipino
• English
• Mathematics
• Science
• Araling Panlipunan
• Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP)
• Music
• Arts
• Physical Education
• Health
• Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP)
• Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE)

philippine_6Senior High School (Grades 11-12)

Senior High School is two years of specialized upper secondary education; students may choose a specialization based on aptitude, interests, and school capacity. The choice of career track will define the content of the subjects a student will take in Grades 11 and 12.

Each student in Senior High School can choose among 3 tracks:

Business, Accountancy, Management
Humanities, Education, Social Sciences
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
• Technical-Vocational-Livelihood
• Sports and Arts

Core Curriculum Subjects:

(There are seven Learning Areas under the Core Curriculum: Languages, Literature, Communication, Mathematics, Philosophy, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences)

• Oral communication
• Reading and writing
• Komunikasyon at pananaliksik sa wika at kulturang Filipino
• 21st century literature from the Philippines and the world
• Contemporary Philippine arts from the regions
• Media and information literacy
• General mathematics
• Statistics and probability
• Earth and life science
• Physical science
• Introduction to philosophy of the human person/Pambungad sa pilosopiya ng tao
• Physical education and health
• Personal development/pansariling kaunlaran
• Earth science (instead of Earth and life science for those in the STEM strand)
• Disaster readiness and risk reduction (taken instead of Physical science for those in the STEM strand)

Applied track subjects:
• English for academic and professional purposes
• Practical research 1
• Practical research 2
• Filipino sa piling larangan
• Isports
• Sining
• Empowerment technologies (for the strand)
• Entrepreneurship
• Inquiries, investigations, and immersion

Specialized Subjects:
• Accountancy, business, and management strand
• Humanities and social sciences strand
• Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics strand
• General academic strand


Elementary Education: Students who complete 6 years of elementary education receive the Certificate of Graduation.

Junior High School Education: After completing Grade 10, a student in the vocational technical track of JSH can obtain Certificates of Competency (COC) or the National Certificate Level I (NC I). After completing a Technical-Vocational-Livelihood track in Grade 12, a student may obtain a National Certificate Level II (NC II) on passing the competency-based assessment of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). NC I and NC II improves employability of graduates in fields like Agriculture, Electronics, and Trade.

Senior High School Education: Students who complete Grade 12, received the Diploma (Katibayan) from the school, and the Certificate of Graduation (Katunayan) form the Department of Education. They are also awarded a Permanent Record or Form 137-A what lists all classes taken and grades earned.

The transition period from the old to the new system will end with the 2016-2017 school year.


Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert President & CEO


Alan Saidi  Senior Vice-President & COO

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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